In "A Separate Peace", how do teachers feel about Finny?  How do they treat him?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The teachers don't know what to do with Finny - his brashness and charisma are so unquestionably sincere and unaffected that even when he breaks the rules, they have a hard time being mad at him.  Finny manages to get away with things that most others would not.  Gene describes the teachers' reaction to Finny in saying,

"The Devon faculty had never before experienced a student who combined a calm ignorance of the rules with a winning urge to be good, who seemed to love the school truly and deeply, and never more than when he was breaking the regulations, a model boy who was most comfortable in the truant's corner.  The faculty threw up its hands over Phineas" (Chapter 2).

Finny is mischievous, but he is completely lacking in malice.  As a character he is extremely likeable, and the teachers are no exception in their reaction towards him.  The teachers are attracted to Finny's artless ingenuousness.  In a time of war, his innocence, and, to a lesser extent, that of the other boys, reminds them of what peace was like.

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A Separate Peace

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